As work in the nave begins, we have asked ourselves “What about those white speakers on the ceiling, high over the sanctuary?” We were told they “are only speakers” and not part of anything else. Others said they were connected to a fire alarm system that alerts those in the nave to a fire in the annex.

On 23 January, Hugh contacted the Brunswick Fire Department which conducted a test of St.Paul’s fire alert system. Those speakers are indeed connected to our fire alert system, and emitted such a piercing sound that “only the dead couldn’t hear it” (Hugh’s words). Now we know.

Examination of our alert system has raised several questions that we are now pursuing: Should the alert system be upgraded to strobe lights that can be seen by the visually impaired; should the nave have its own system (smoke detectors, etc. – none there now because no one sleeps there); should there be a carbon monoxide detector adjacent to the boiler; should we have one company that would monitor our alert system and maintain it instead of the two firms we currently have? These questions were not part of the original renovation concept, but they are good questions and this is the right time to pursue them. Stay tuned.

And speaking of (benign) flames, the sanctuary candle that once burned in the nave has been moved to the “Quiet Room” where the Blessed Sacrament is being stored during this time. The candle’s “home” is an ornate brass receptacle that “floats” above the altar. The pulley mechanism that allows us to raise and lower the receptacle is jammed. Because of its height, we cannot easily or safely repair it. One of the renovation’s smaller tasks is to disconnect the pulley, repair and lubricate it, and rehang it at a lower, more easily-accessible height.

Electrical work continues: The electrician has deposited a dumpster in the parking lot. Old fixtures will be placed in the dumpster. Also, a third scissor has found a temporary home in the Great Hall. It will be moved as needed so as not to disrupt services.